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What employment rights are there for nannies?

Chris Weaver, associate & Paige Tompkins, assistant solicitor, Payne Hicks Beach, 13/09/2019

They perhaps have one of the most important jobs, yet sometimes nannies are not afforded the employment rights and protections to which they are entitled, as the recent Employment Tribunal judgment against Manchester City star Riyad Mahrez highlights.  Mr Mahrez was ordered to pay his nanny compensation for outstanding expenses and unauthorised deductions from her wages.  In order to avoid claims, employers must have appropriate documentation in place and comply with relevant employment legislation.   

Nannies are likely to be employees as they will almost certainly be required to provide personal service (rather than being able to subcontract their work) and the employer is likely to exercise a high degree of control over how, when and where they do the work.  These factors are all consistent with nannies being employees rather than self-employed.  As employees, nannies benefit from the full range of employment protections. An employer must also operate PAYE, deduct tax and pay national insurance contributions, and must comply with pension auto-enrolment obligations.

As employees, nannies should be given a written statement of their particulars of employment. The statement must include specified information such as the terms in respect of pay, working hours, holiday entitlement and sick pay. The statement should be provided no later than two months' after the employment commenced.

It is unlawful for an employer to make a deduction from a nanny's wages unless the deduction is required or authorised by law or a provision in the nanny's contract, or the nanny has given their prior written consent to the deduction.

Nannies also benefit from certain terms which are implied into their employment contract as a matter of law.  These include an implied duty to indemnify the nanny in respect of costs, claims and expenses incurred by the nanny in carrying out their duties.  There is also an implied duty for the employer not to act in a way which destroys trust and confidence between the employer and the nanny.  A failure to comply with this implied term can result in the nanny resigning and claiming constructive dismissal.  

Nannies have the right to be paid at least the National Minimum Wage. Employers must calculate their nanny's hourly rate of pay over an appropriate "pay reference period" and maintain records to...


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